The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology, Second Edition
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The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology, Second Edition

Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Graham Woodgate

This thoroughly revised Handbook provides an assessment of the scope and content of environmental sociology, and sets out the intellectual and practical challenges posed by the urgent need for policy and action to address accelerating environmental change.
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Chapter 20: Environmental Sociology and International Forestry: Historical Overview and Future Directions

Bianca Ambrose-Oji


Bianca Ambrose-Oji Introduction Forestry is implicated in many of today’s most pressing and prominent environmental issues: climate change and global warming; food, water and energy security; rapid urbanization and environmental degradation; and the environmental impacts and resilience of globalized systems of production and consumption. Trees and forests act as a global carbon sink; mediate local and regional weather systems; are a store of genetic diversity for future foods and medicines; provide traditional and novel forms of energy; impact on local hydrological systems and have the potential to alleviate flooding risk during extreme weather events; while urban forestry can improve living spaces and quality of life through greening and cooling in urban microclimates. But how has forestry been theorized? What has sociology offered in terms of broadening our understanding of the relationship between societies and the natural resources they depend upon? This chapter will present an overview of the important trends in the history and development of international forestry, as well as tracking the parallel development of environmental sociology and the perspectives it has to offer. The chapter concludes by looking at what the discipline has to offer our understanding of the relationships between forestry and society in the future. Catton and Dunlap (1978) were among the first sociologists to suggest that following the rise of environmental movements during the 1960s and 1970s, there should be a new period of sociological inquiry. They identified a ‘new environmental paradigm’ as a way to bring forward ‘the study of the interaction between the...

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